It’s been a long wait for Olympus fans, but the firm has finally released its premium ultra-telephoto zoom, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO. First revealed alongside the launch of the flagship E-M1X in January 2019, this ambitious optic provides a 300-800mm equivalent range. When its switchable 1.25x teleconverter is engaged, it becomes a 375-1000mm equivalent f/5.6 lens. This remarkable reach is sure to appeal to sports and wildlife photographers using the Micro Four Thirds system. For those who need even longer range, the firm’s 1.4x and 2x teleconverters can also be used.
Optically, the lens includes 28 elements in 18 groups, including an Extra-low Dispersion Aspherical element and four Super Extra-low Dispersion elements to maximise sharpness and suppress chromatic aberration. As usual for Olympus’s Pro-series optics, the barrel features a weather-resistant design for use in adverse environments. Its white finish is designed to reflect sunlight and prevent the optics from heating up, while the front element boasts a water- and grease-repellent fluorine coating.
In contrast to many similar lenses, the 150-400mm uses an internal zoom design, meaning that the lens’s length and balance doesn’t change during operation. At 314.3mm in length and weighing 1,875g, it’s by far the largest MFT lens yet made, but much smaller than a high-end 1000mm-equivalent zoom could be for a larger-sensor system.
One notable feature is the inclusion of Olympus’s Sync IS system. The lens’s optical stabilisation works together with the camera’s in-body IS to deliver up to 8 stops compensation, which is claimed to be the world’s strongest. This allows images to be shot hand-held at relatively slow shutter speeds without blurring due to camera shake.
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO is due to go on sale at the end of January 2021 for £6499.99.